Little Rock police on Wednesday identified a 19-year-old man as the person suspected of firing the first shot of many at a downtown nightclub that left more than two dozen people wounded earlier this year.
During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Capt. Russell King announced the arrest of Tyler Clay Jackson and said he faces three counts of second-degree battery and six counts of aggravated assault.
Jackson is the second person arrested in direct connection with the July 1 incident at the now-closed Power Ultra Lounge, where 25 people were shot and three others were injured when gunfire broke out during a rap concert.
Kentrell Gwynn, a bodyguard for a Memphis rapper who was performing that night, was the first person charged in direct connection with the shooting. He faces 10 counts of aggravated assault related to the gunfire, one for each shot he's accused of firing at the club, which was at 220 W. Sixth St.
Speaking at Little Rock police headquarters Wednesday, King identified Jackson as the person suspected of initiating the shooting and said Jackson was in the crowd and not on the stage. He said the investigation pointed to Jackson firing nine rounds.
Police Chief Kenton Buckner has said in the past that "rival groups," which he also has referred to as gangs, opened fire during a dispute at the rap concert. King declined to reveal the evidence against Jackson and did not comment on whether Jackson had any association with any gang.
"We see it as a win," King said of Jackson's arrest. "It's progress in the right direction."
Records show Jackson was being held without bail at the Faulkner County jail until he was moved Wednesday to Pulaski County. He was arrested by the Arkansas State Police and booked at that jail Aug. 29 on charges that include aggravated assault, criminal mischief and reckless driving.
Victims of Little Rock mass shooting
"We think this is significant in terms of bringing people to justice on a terrible tragedy," said Mayor Mark Stodola at the news conference. "We want to thank God that no one was killed, and we still have people who are recuperating and trying to mend from the wounds that they received."
The shooting attracted national attention and emphasized an already violent year for Arkansas' capital city. This year, the number of homicides and nonfatal shooting victims has spiked compared with last year, and preliminary police data show a 15 percent increase in violent crime from Jan. 1 to Oct. 9, compared with the same time period last year.
Days after the nightclub shooting, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the creation of a joint task force comprised of law enforcement agencies from the local, state and federal level. Federal authorities have said the FBI-led task force is focused on targeting gangs and violent crime in Little Rock.
King did not comment on whether Jackson's arrest was the result of work by the task force.
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Photos by Brandon Riddle
Photos by Brandon Riddle
Little Rock police reported in August that shell casings found at the nightclub matched a gun found with Gwynn, the bodyguard of Memphis rapper Ricky Hampton.
Both Hampton and Gwynn were arrested on July 2 and both face felony charges.
King also declined to comment on what led authorities to Jackson's arrest and said the investigation is still open and ongoing. At the crime scene, authorities found multiple firearms and shell casings from several guns, according to a report obtained through the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
"It takes diligent police work," Stodola said of the investigation. "It's not like it happens on TV. It takes a lot of hard work. And I think Capt. King and Chief Buckner and the entire Police Department should be commended for their continued attention to detail in trying to bring these people to justice."
Information for this article was contributed by Scott Carroll of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and by Rachel Herzog of Arkansas Online.
Metro on 10/19/2017
Print Headline: 19-year-old man second arrestee in July shooting at LR nightclub